places to look

12 May 2010

the ladies of the night. siberia style

Weird yes. problematic maybe. Interesting for sure.  Despite the confusion here. there is one undeniable fact, elana chernyak confuses us.  Looking at these pictures, my first thought is heavy irony.  but then, strangely enough, her name pulls me away from thinking of them the product of post-millennial malaise.  these pictures are many things, but it seems like they are at least valid interpretations about the complex life of prostitution in the coldest and most depressing area on the planet.  sad and funny, the lives of these women remind us that the slave industry deliverers nether rain nor shine nor sleet nor twelve feet of snow. 

11 May 2010

alex prager serves up an ice cold glass of delicately poisoned lemon aid

prager's work combines a thrilling and consistent color palette with a spectacular abilityto access the iconic.  she ties me up with nylonstockings and makes me look at what i've been seeing in dreams.  only somehow the images are sabotaged, riddled with landmines that make me sweat and shift in my seat.  perfect for summer, prager serves up an ice cold glass of delicately poisoned lemon aid.

excerpt from juxtapoz interview. 

"I’m documenting a world that exists and doesn’t exist at the same time; the world in which these girls live in is made up, but the illusion they’ve created is so constant that it became more real to them than the world they actually live in...
I saw a theme of apathy and impending death running through these pictures -- the death of and dreams."
very rarely do i become so invested in a photographer so quickly, but that seems to be happening to a lot of people.  in just three years she has had three incredibly sucessful gallery shows.  her newest work, "week-end", made her an undisputed darling at pulse in miami this past december.  currenly on display in tokyo, prager's exhibit is due to open in london in june and she has already hit la and new york.  they is something undeniably exciting about her that makes me wonder if we won't all know her name soon enough.  too bad she's good enough to drink.

more excerpts from juxtapoz magazine interview

"Los Angeles is a beautiful place. The magic is still here. Everything is possible, but there is a very dark element here too. I think that’s what makes Los Angeles so inspiring. You can feel it when you’ve been here for a few months at a time. The sky is always blue, the birds are always singing -- it’s a strange picture of perfection -- but there is this eerie monotony that creeps in after a while. I think it can slowly drive people crazy -- that sense of unease under the surface of all this beauty and promise.

I stage my pictures with this place in mind -- a place where dreams die quietly."

09 May 2010

what are men putting on - eclectic style

i think i'm getting closer to what the fuck is going on, but perhaps not. people have been arguing that contemporary pop culture is boring because it it only rehashing the 80's or whatever.  but come on, this is more interesting.  when the 80's rediscovered shoulder pads from the 40's it was because the culture was becoming more "business" based as a fashion sense.  of course, the 40's were the time when more women then ever before and long time after entered the male dominated workplace.  Everyone knows that shoulders are the definition of masculinity anyway.  can we fit our brand of pop style into a similar scenario?  the history of american pop music at least has largely been a history of appropriating black music.  but now, i would say that the hip hop regime of top notch black producers run the industry. Although we all loved daft punk since like 3rd grade, you can't deny that they never became more influential than after kayne west stole the duo from beardless hip kids and french coke addicts and gave it to the masses.

pixelization and a cushy softness in benjamin gurell

as gurell moves from images of nature to scenes a little more man-made, he identifies the essential tie between pattern in the wild and the pixelization of the digital life. our experience of both is routed through the same sensory overload.  no longer can looking at a field be different than looking at a screen.  but the way out that gurell expertly shows us is fun.  perhaps that field will never be the same, but our experience of the screen is better then ever.  at the very least, it's new and lush.  gurell gives us the chance to make this connection because his pictures are so soft you could just lie down and forget that it was a mediated experience.